tv State of the Union With Jake Tapper CNN September 11, 2016 5:30am-7:01am PDT
do not take stelara® if you are allergic to stelara® or any of its ingredients. most people using stelara® saw 75% clearer skin and the majority were rated as cleared or minimal at 12 weeks. be the you who talks to your dermatologist about stelara®. good morning and welcome to a special edition of cnn's "state of the union" as we reflect and remember on the 15th anniversary of the september 11th attacks. memorials are about to get under way. in new york where over 3,000 people were slaughtered as the planes crashed into the twin towers. just outside washington at the pentagon for 184 people were killed when another plane hit that location. and then in shanksville, pennsylvania, for the 40 passengers and crew of flight 93 lost their lives. in doing so heroically thwarted
a crash of that plane into the alcoh capitol. president obama will observe a moment of silence marking the moment the first plane hit the north tower of the world trade center. bv moving to the memorial ceremony at the pentagon across the river where he will speak. donald trump appeared alongside rudy giuliani at ground zero this morning. he'll visit a firehouse later today. hillary clinton is also at the site of the attacks. she spoke to chris cuomo about visiting ground zero the day after the towers fell. >> i went the next day, chuck schumer and i. we were one of theery few planes in the sky that day. the 12th. and we landed at laguardia. we were on a fema plane. we took a helicopter. and we went over, circled the
burning pile. and when we landed, we met up with the governor and the mayor and went walking toward ground zero. and as we moved further south and we saw this curtain of black smoke that was stretched across the island basically, occasionally it would be broken by a firefighter coming out. i remember one image so indelibly, dragging his axe. and it was as close to a depiction of hell that i have ever personally seen. >> we're going to bring you a lot more of that interview with hillary clinton about 9/11. terrorism and her plans for
foreign policy. but right now, as families and officials gather at ground zero, let's go to new york where security is tight on this 15th anniversary of the worst terrorist attack on american history. >> in the audience is homeland security secretary jeh johnson. he joined me moments ago from the memorial. secretary johnson, thank you for joining us. >> thanks for having me on, jake. >> i have to begin with the threat level facing the united states today. are we on a heightened state of alert? >> i would characterize it this way, jake. we are on a constant state of alert against not only the terrorist-directed attack of the 9/11 type but also terrorist-inspired attacks. the so-called lone wolf, the home-grown violent extremist of the type we've seen in san
bernardino and orlando. we are in a relatively new environment now where we have got to be concerned about the traditional threat as well as this new threat where al qaeda and isil can reach into our homeland through social media to recruit and inspire people here, which makes for a more complex environment involving law enforcement, our intelligence community and our homeland security people working hard to deal with it. >> do you think that that new threat environment means that we are not safer today than we were 15 years ago? >> good question. we are safer when it comes to the 9/11-style attack. our government has become pretty good at detecting overseas' plots against the homeland. our intelligence community, our law enforcement community are pretty good now at connecting those types of dots. but we have got this new
environment and new threat which we just talked about, which makes it harder. and we're seeing now attacks in orlando and san bernardino that we've got to protect against, which is why i continue to talk about public vigilance and awareness, the need to build bridges to communities that we know isil and aq are trying to recruit from within. it's a new environment. this is a new phenomenon. the answer to your question is really a mixed one. we have -- we're better now at detecting the 9/11-style attack. but it's more challenging with this new environment that we are in. >> because i have noticed president obama has a new construct when describing how safe we are. it used to be that he would say we are safer than we were six years ago, seven years ago, whatever. now he says we're safer than we would be if we weren't doing what we're doing. it's almost an acknowledgement of the idea that, because of
this lone wolf threat, we really have no idea how safe we are. >> jake, since i have been in national security, beginning in 2009, we have made significant progress in degrading al qaeda's ability to attack our homeland. through our efforts of the u.s. military, our intelligence community. but there is this new phenomenon now of the terrorist-inspired attack, the lone wolf, and that's the thing that presents the challenge most directly from -- for our homeland. it's, frankly, the thing that keeps me up at night. and it requires a whole of government response. >> secretary johnson, you were in new york city on 9/11. tell us about that day for you. >> well, 9/11 happens to be my birthday. that day was my 44th birthday. i was a private citizen. i had left the pentagon nine months before. i was general counsel of the air
force in the clinton years. september 11th, 2001, i commuted into manhattan to work. i was a lawyer in private practice. and from my office window in midtown manhattan i pretty much observed the whole thing. and like a lot of new yorkers, a lot of americans, i wanted to do something. and so i have spent the last seven and a half, close to eight years now trying to do exactly that. >> when you say you saw it, what do you mean? do you mean -- did you see people jumping from the buildings? i mean, how close, how vivid was it for you? >> i looked out my office window on 6th and 51st street. first thing i saw was the smoke billowing out of the first tower against the backdrop of that beautiful blue sky. and then at some point i looked up and i saw the explosion, the second plane hitting. i was going back and forth between watching it visually out
the window and looking at it on tv. and then the thing i'll never forget was to watch that first tower collapse. for those of us in new york, the twin towers had been a permanent fixture on the sky scape, the landscape for almost 40 years then. to see the first tower collapse, it was almost a moment where my mind could not believe what my eyes were seeing. i kept wanting to see that tower emerge from the smoke and the dust and, of course, that never happened. and it's a memory, frankly, that's burned into my mind. i'll never forget it. >> department of homeland security secretary jeh johnson at ground zero for us today. thank you so much mr. secretary. we appreciate it. >> thanks for having me, jake. that was the department of homeland security secretary jeh johnson. we are watching live pictures from ground zero where the 9/11 remembrance ceremony is under way. joining me now here in studio john king, cnn anchor of "inside
politics" who was covering the white house for cnn on 9/11. mary madelyn, a counselor to dick cheney. andy card, former chief of staff to george w. bush who first told the then-president about the attacks. and mr. karch thanks one and all for being here. i know this is a heavy day and to talk about it in front of a lot of people is challenging. thanks ahead of time for that. we have all seen the picture of you telling president bush, we're under attack. i guess one thing i would really be curious in knowing is, what it felt like to be delivering that message. >> i knew the message i was delivering was a very rare message to deliver to a president. i knew he was in a setting that was a very rare setting to hear a message like that. but i did think about the words that i would say.
he did know or he had been told that it appears a small twin-engine prop plane crashed into one of the towers at the world trade center in new york city. that's what i knew that he knew before walking into the classroom. i was then told it wasn't a small twin-engine plane it was a commercial jet-liner. and then another plane hit the tower at the world trade center. i stood at the door and passed the tests the chiefs of staff pass all the time. does the president need to know. yes. i passed on two facts and made one obvious editorial comment. when appropriate i said a second plane hit the second tower. america is under attack. i knew that those words were something the president did not want to hear. but i also knew that he was the president and he would be thinking about his obligation to preserve, protect and defend, and the responsibility was his, and he could not meet that responsibility without other people keeping their oaths of office, to follow the command of
the commander in chief. so i knew he was recognizing the responsibility and accepting the phenomenal burden to protect us. >> right now on the right side of your screen you are seeing the 9/11 memorial ceremony at ground zero. that flag, of course, is the one that had been recovered from ground zero. and it is being treated with a great deal of reverence right now, as you can see. mary, let me go to you. you were with vice president cheney that day. he was at the white house and he immediately had to go to a location and try to figure out what was going on. >> he didn't immediately have to go. he was immediately picked up and carried out. and listening to andy recount the calmness and the ability with which he delivered that message to the president reminds me, gives me a flashback to that day of feeling not scared but comforted that we had a chief of
staff that would -- it is very difficult, what he described so calmly. and a vice president and a president who knew how to work together. and a secretary of state and all the chain of command had had previous experience with each other. and it was comforting because, as we'll certainly recount today, there is a fog of war. that's a real thing. >> john, you were at the white house. i remember i went down to the mall because there were all these reports, nobody knew what was going on. there was a report that the mall was on fire. it was obviously actually the pentagon. as i was riding my bike back a policeman ran over to me and said, get out of here, the fourth plane or a plane is he headed for the white house. you were there. >> secretary johnson put it perfectly. your mind could not believe what your eyes were seeing or your mind couldn't believe the questions you were having to deal with. i was arriving at the white house. i was late for work.
it was a beautiful morning, a crisp, clear, spectacular morning and i was coming through the gates at the north lawn when the secret service was shutting the building down. they only let me through because of my experience and they knew me. i said i have to talk to my people. i remember vividly the young staffers running out. the secret service was screaming "get out," run for your life. they thought the plane was coming for the administration. some of the women were running out of their shoes. the shoes were staying on the path. after a short time you could see the smoke starting to rise. if you looked down from lafayette park, the white house here, you could see the smoke coming up and you were getting messages that that was the program. >> let's take a moment and listen to this. ♪ what so proudly we hail the a the twilight's last gleaming ♪
♪ whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the perilous fight ♪ ♪ o'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming ♪ ♪ and the rocket's red glare ♪ the bombs bursting in air ♪ gave proof through the night that our flag was still there ♪ ♪ o, say, does that star spangled banner yet wave ♪ ♪ o'er the land of the free and
the home of the brave ♪ ♪ [ cheers and applause ] the brooklyn youth chorus, performing. and that flag, as you might recall, was recovered in the ashes of the twin towers. it was stitched together and now lives at the 9/11 memorial. we are anticipating a moment of silence in about 30 seconds. that moment will commemorate the first plane, american airlines flight 11 traveling from boston to los angeles, striking the north tower of the world trade center. bells will toll throughout the city of new york as we remember
good morning. my name is jerry diamadao. my dad vincent worked in the north tower. i was 10 years old. my brothers were 8, 7 and 5. today i am proud to be here to memorialize my father. this is the place that gives me a chance to think about beautiful memories, like christmas eve when dad took my brothers and i to work to give my mom a break. on 9/11, the nation came together.
people really tried to help us. i spent endless summers at a camp for kids who lost family members on 9/11. >> the beginning of the ceremony commemorating the victims all 2,977 has begun. after the first moment of silence. i want to bring in my panel. for one second. you were in boston the day of 9/11, the horrible day one of the planes leaving from boston. american airlines flight 11, which we just commemorated. you saw that day as something of a call to service. >> it was. it was a call to service. i remember i was in one financial center. if you look out the windows, you can see logan airport. i remember looking over on the beautiful blue sky and thinking as i looked at the airport, we were trying to get news in, and thinking we had just heard about a terrorist organization. we weren't quite sure what was going on. i remember thinking that if this group uses the name of islam in
any way -- i remember the sinking feeling. i walked into my boss's office and said i am an american and a proud muslim. you can be both and i need to serve. that's how i came to washington. >> i want to bring in joh john delendeck who was there that morning. many americans will pray this morning. men of faith as we all know were among the first responders who were on the scene at the world trade center. in fact, the very first victim of the attacks was father michael judge, administering last rites to the dying when he was hit in the head with debris and killed. the photo of the father being carried out by firefighters is an iconic image from that day. his fellow fdny chaplain was there when the towers fell
killing 343 new york city firefighters. he joins me now from new york city. thank you so much for joining me, sir. take us back to 9/11. your pager went off, telling you that a plane had crashed into one of the towers. where were you? what did you think? what did you do? >> i had just completed saying mass that morning. like you said, the pager went off and said a plane crashed into the tower. w my first reaction was it was a small plane. the hudson river is a route for the small planes. then i turned on the tv and i saw that the flames out of the first building. and i immediately called operations center and told them i was responding to the trade center. i got in my car, and as i was on the other side of the river, on the brooklyn side, i saw the second plane. it was very low. and moving very fast.
and -- but i didn't see it hit. and i got through the tunnel. and went to the command post, which was on at that point west street, opposite the two towers. >> then you saw the second plane approaching the world trade center. >> that's correct. >> right? and you realized that it was not doing what you thought it might be doing. >> right. in fact, i was stupidly thinking, you know, this pilot went down to take a look. but obviously that was not the case. we learned soon afterwards it was a terrorist attack. >> you saw the horrible images of people desperate, jumping from the towers because one can only imagine what was going through their heads about the hell below being preferable to the hell where they were. what -- i can't even imagine what it was like. i get -- i have a tough time talking about it. what was it like for you seeing it? >> well, when we -- we first saw
it, it's so high. i really didn't comprehend it yet. it was -- i thought it was debris at first. then i saw arms and legs wave and i said, oh, man, those are people, you know. i turned towards a firefighter friend of mine, a captain, and i said to him, how can they do this? how can they jump? this captain had gone through a couple of years of terrible burn therapy. and he came back to the job. and he said, they had a choice, to die either by fire -- and that's a terrible fire to die in -- or die, as he put it, die clean by jumping out the windows. >> when the second building was coming down you were running to the river. a police officer stopped you. tell us about that. >> well, i was running along on vc street towards the river away from the tower. and this police officer came up
next to me. and running with me, he said, father, could you hear my confession. so i told him that -- i said, this is an act of war. and so i'm going to give everyone general absolution. which i did. general absolution in the catholic church is forgiving all at one time. and so i -- i did do it at that point. >> i did meet this police officer later. he is a police inspector. i had lunch with him at the staten island landfill where all the debris was taken and sifted looking for more pieces of bodies. >> you would start taking boat rides to ground zero a week after 9/11, and you were with families of firefighters whose loved ones were missing. tell us about them and tell us about how they're doing now
15 years later. >> okay. going on the boat was -- it was quite a thing. they were very -- i don't want to say upbeat when they were going. a lot of them were talking about how resourceful their husbands, their fathers were, that they had a lot of rescue things in their pockets. they said, they'll get out of this. and when we got to the site, we would gather on the corner of liberty and west street, and they just would look at the rubble, the immensity of it. that realization hit them that their loved ones were lost. we were then -- answered questions. i had firefighters with us who would answer questions. they would say, where was the north tower? where was the south tower? where was the hotel? and they would get their questions answered, and i would stop everything. and i said, listen, now i want you to take a minute and i want
you to talk to your loved ones in your heart. tell them you're here. tell them you love them. and then be quiet and listen. let them speak back to you. let them tell you they're all right, they're safe, and they're home with their father in heaven. coming back on the boat, we had a number of counsels with us. they were certainly needed at that point. i would walk around and i would find people who were sitting by themselves. i would sit next to them and speak to them and try to comfort them. now, you just asked me too what are they -- how are they now. i do see a number of people now. i don't see all of them anymore. but they are -- they are doing reasonably well, you know. they have moved on. but they haven't forgotten anything. they still have a place in their heart, you know, for the husbands or their father, you
know. but some still need counselling. some need a lot of help. >> i remember in those days and weeks after that horrific day, the hope that there were firefighters under the rubble, the false reports on occasion of the discovery of firefighters still alive and obviously they were tragically not true. 343 firefighters killed that day. father, one last question. what are you planning to say at the mass you are giving at the firehouse later today? >> okay. well, it's a memorial mass. we do it every year on 9/11 at ladder 131 in red hook. today i am -- i'm just -- i'm trying to think of the homily. i have my homily already. but it's -- again, i am going to be talking about this is the year of mercy.
st. francis had announced. and i will talk about our merciful god, who took care of those who were lost at 9/11, that he has reached out his hands. a lot of the parents or husbands or wives asked me after 9/11, my husband hasn't gone to mass in a long time, or my son hasn't gone in a long time. you know, can they go to heaven? i said, of course. they were doing god's work that day. they were saving other people. do you think we have a god, you know, who would condemn anyone, who was doing his work? no. i said, he's with them. he's with them now. and he treats each as an individual, and i firmly believe they're with him in paradise. and that would comfort the parents very much. >> it's been an honor to have
you here this morning. thank you so much, sir, and god bless you. >> thank you. let's bring back our panel. john, it was -- i'm just reminded of all these memories flooding back. but i had forgotten about the false reports of the discoveries of firefighters until ti was reminded of the families of the firefighters that held out hope. >> the emotions do come back when you listen to something like that. i remember the uniformed secret service agents ordering us to leave the grounds and then stood surrounding the building. we were standing there watching them. thinking, if there is a plane coming you will die. but that was their job. those who are gone are heroes but she should remember those who are still here who were part
of that are heroes. it was just a day of disbelieve. i had covered the white house for a long time. been in this town for a long time. where is the president, where is the vice president, who is in charge of the country? who is calling the shots? is it safe for the president to come back to washington. you were asking questions that you couldn't conceive of asking. in the middle of that, as a personal note. i had two young kids in elementary school. where are they? what did they do? what do they know? >> remember are they? are they safe? you're juggling all this. i worked with a griet team at the white house. they're my heros. one of our photo journalists and another one who has left for another network. we were getting kicked out and debating with the secret service until they could make sure the cameras were locked in so that we would have a live shot of the white house if the plane hit. but we were having these conversations. my day was spent trying to find her. we knew where he was.
and the president had several stops. they didn't think it was safe to bring the president back to washington, d.c. think about that. >> it was remarkable. >> rushing members of congress in the hinterlands to get them out of washington. >> we're live right now for a special edition of cnn's "state of the union" as families and friends of the 2,977 people killed on this day, 15 years ago, read the names of those whom we lost. the nation will pause at the moment the second plane hit the south tower. president obama currently en route to the pentagon for a memorial of the site where the third plane struck. later bells will toll in a field outside shanksville, pennsylvania, for united airlines flight 93 crashed after the passengers and crew overtook
the terrorists to force the plane to crash. politicians including former mayors michael bloomberg and rudy giuliani. hillary clinton, who was a new york senator on 9/11 was there as well. you'll hear from her shortly. let me go to the white house where my colleague is there as president obama is -- has either left for the pentagon or is preparing to do so. >> good morning, jake. yes, he is preparing to leave. this morning what they decided to do was to really have that moment of silence to observe that quietly and privately inside of the residence as a family. then later this morning as you note, the president will make his way to the pentagon where he'll deliver some remarks. if you take a look, jake, at what he has said before in the weekly address to the american people, you get a pretty good sense of what he'll say today. that is two things. the first theme is that a lot
has changed over the last 15 years. he'll talk about the fact that the top al qaeda leaders responsible have been killed and the fact that osama bin laden has been brought to justice and the nature of terrorism itself has changed as we see with orlando and san bernardino and boston and other terrorist attacks. he'll talk about the need to confront al qaeda and isil. then he'll talk about the things that have not changed. he'll talk about the values of the american people, that we respect diversity, that we treat everyone equally no matter race or faith or gender, those types of things. and that we will never be afraid, we will never allow ourselves to be afraid and to allow the terrorists to win and that those are the kinds of things. you can see it as either purely patriotic or political. but those are the kinds of
things that the president will emphasize, that that is the legacy of 9/11. jake. >> thank you. let's listen live at ground zero where the ceremony will take a moment to pause to mark the moment that united airlines flight 175 hit the south tower of the world trade center. let's listen in. [ bells toll ]
mary jane booth. >> that was a moment of silence commemorating the moment that united airlines flight 175 traveling from boston to los angeles struck the south tower of the world trade center in new york city. today we think not only of those who lost their lives in the attacks but their families who survived and the fearless first responders and volunteers who worked on the pile for weeks, for months, breathing in what turned out to be toxic air left behind after the towers collapsed, trying to find any evidence of the lives lost. we recall the indelible moments in the aftermath of the attacks such as this one. >> i want you all to know that
america today -- america today is on bended knee in prayer for the people whose lives were lost here, for the workers who work here, for the families who mourn. this nation stands with the good people of new york city and new jersey and connecticut as we mourn the loss of thousands of our citizens. i can hear you! [ cheers and applause ] >> i can hear you. the rest of the world hears you. and the people -- [ cheers and applause ] >> and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon. [ cheers and applause ]
[ chanting "usa" ] >> with president bush that day at ground zero was hillary clinton, who was at the time a u.s. senator representing the state of new york on 9/11. clinton was at ground zero today as well remembering that horrific day. my colleague chris cuomo sat down with her for an exclusive interview on friday evening. we should point out this was before she made comments at a fund-raiser that have proved to be controversial. this was before that. the interview focused on foreign policy and 9/11 and her memories from that day. >> remind people where you were on 9/11 and what your earliest memory is of that day. >> well, i was in washington. i had been in new york the day before. but i had gone back because the senate was going to be in session. and i had left my house on the way to a senate meeting that morning. when i got the news about the
first plane, nobody knew what to make of it. i'm on the phone desperately trying to figure out what people knew. i got to the senate. and by the time i got there, the senate was being evacuated. senate buildings, the capitol itself. so i gathered up my senior staff, and we were just looking at each other with such total pain and confusion. and we then, of course, learned about the second plane. we learned about what was happening in new york. got to a tv as quickly as possible to begin monitoring it. it was just a sickening experience, chris. and i went the next day, chuck schumer and i, we were one of
the very few planes in the sky that day. the 12th. and we landed at laguardia. we were on a fema plane. and we took a helicopter, and we went over, circled, the burning pile. and when we landed we met up with the governor and the mayor and went walking toward ground zero. and as we moved further south and we saw this curtain of black smoke that was stretched across the island, basically. occasionally it would be broken by a firefighter coming out. i remember one image so indelibly, you know, dragging
his axe. and it was as close to a depiction of hell that i have ever personally seen. there is a lot that i remember from those early days and from all the days after because, as an elected official, i felt such a responsibility to reach out and help everyone who had been affected by this terrible attack. there weren't that many survivors. the ones who did survive were grievously injured. the loss of life was overwhelming. i went, like so many others, to the armory and the piers, looking to see what was happening, how people were reacting. but it was also, you know, my job and the job of other elected officials to get our city and our state and our country what we needed. so i went back that night.
and chuck and i had been at a big meeting with all of the local state and federal officials. when we got word just shockingly that the white house had sent up a request for $20 billion because, of course, the pentagon had been hit, we were going to have to immediately start hardening our security, and there wasn't one penny for new york. and chuck was trying to find his family. he hadn't seen his wife and children. i got the last train out of penn station and got to washington in the early morning and went immediately home, changed, showered, got to the senate, where i began talking with my colleagues about what i had seen and what we were going to need in order to rebuild. and it was a moment of great
national unity and resolution. the late senator from west virginia was my first stop. he had just taken back the appropriations committee. i told him, senator, i need your help. it's been a terrible 24 hours. actually seeing on a large scale what we could only see on our tvs. he said, what do you need? and i said, well, we need $20 billion for new york too. and he said, well, consider me the third senator from new york. and then later that day chuck and i went with the two senators from virginia to the white house. and it was just the four of us plus president bush and his top officials. and we were describing what we had seen. this was the day before he himself went. and president bush said, what do you need? and we said we need $20 billion. he said, you've got it. and he meant it.
and there were a lot of efforts to undo that pledge, starting almost immediately. but we were able to count on him, and it meant a lot to help the families, the victims, the downtown, everything that needed to be rebuilt and give people hope again. it did become very personal for me. i saw so many problems that others weren't yet aware of because i was listening and watching. and one of the things was what was happening to, you know, the people in the neighborhoods and particularly the people working on the pile. because it was clear they were being affected by this toxic brew of what had been bombed by the planes and was in the air. and unfortunately the administration kept saying, no, there is no evidence of that. well, you could see the evidence, you could smell it. you could taste the evidence. so i became very passionate
about helping everyone who -- whose own health was going to be damaged because they had put themselves out to help. and when i met the families of the injured, you know, profoundly burned, in comas, induced comas for months, the whole bottom half of a young woman's body pulverized by being hit with some piece from the plane, recently engaged, looking forward to somehow figuring out how she could walk at her wedding. >> her fiancée refusing him to leave. her begging him not to marry her. him refusing to leave. >> the first time i visited her she was at the old st. vincent's hospital. she was so profoundly injured.
beautiful face, long hair. managed even through all the pain to display a kind of whimsical, humorous personality. she desperately wanted to go on with her life, but she feared that she couldn't. i did everything i could to help her, because i keep thinking, what are we here. not just if you're in public service. what are we on this earth for? i feel so strongly. partly it is to do whatever we can with whatever skills and resources we have to help others. and the need was so great and so -- so present. and every place we went, people hunting for their relatives. i was working hard to set up the victims' compensation fund and worked closely with ken fineberg. and sometimes, chris, we would have to -- i would have to send
one of my staffers to go knock on a widow's door, as she still after six months could not get out of bed. and i would meet these shattered lives of people where they were broken but i saw so many of them strengthen and show such resilience. so i felt privileged. you know, whatever i could do was an honor, but it gave me an insight into the human spirit. and i like to think the spirit of new york and america, that i wish every american could understand because it's what makes us who we are and how lucky, blessed, we are to face terrible tragedies but to recover, to move forward, to keep thinking about the future. >> so let's talk about the future. if you take on the responsibility as commander in
chief, president of the united states, your responsibility will be to deal with that threat that is enduring and perhaps greater than ever before. do you think that the next president needs to level with the american people, that words like "destroy" and "defeat isis" that your opponent loves to use all the time about how quickly it will happen that it's not the reality. the reality is this is generational. the reality is there is no quick win against isis, that this will be a very long time. do you think it's time the american people are told that? >> i think it is time for a candid, honest conversation about what we face, because it's not just isis. i actually think that intensifying our efforts against isis could lead to their defeat. by that i mean depriving them of territory, including their headquarters city, raqqa, in syria, taking back the cities
they seized in iraq. but that's not the end of the struggle. the struggle is against a violent ideology, a form of violent jihadism that is very much propagated over the internet, which is attractive, unfortunately, to young men and some young women across the world who are looking for some meaning in their lives and find it in this call to violence and evil. but there's something about this struggle that really demands more than governments. and that is, we have to protect our country by working with one another. and that most certainly includes the american muslim community. what unfortunately donald trump has done is made our job harder and given a lot of aid and
comfort to isis operatives, even isis officials who want to create this as some kind of clash of civilization, a religious war. it's not. and we can't let it become that. >> but it sounds like strength when he says it, and people, when they're afraid, like and need the idea of a strong leader. what do you say to the supporters of him who resonate with that message? >> well, there's phony strength and there's real strength. it's phony strength to not know what you're talking about and to make outrageous statements that will actually make our job harder no matter how, in the moment, it sounds. real strength is leveling with the american people and making it clear, we will defeat isis. i do believe that. but that we have got to make sure that here at home we're not opening doors to people who feel that somehow they want to be part of this global movement because donald trump has said
it's a war between us and them. and that's pretty attractive to people. and we're finding more and more as we look at the profiles of some of the folks who get radicalized and recruited that there is an element of mental illness in some. there is an element of just total alienation. we don't have the depth of problems that you see in europe because we have done a much better job of assimilating people from everywhere. we are a nation of immigrants. we should be proud of that. it's a great asset. so we can't let trump or anybody of his ilk undermine one of our greatest strengths. so real strength will come here at home in making sure we work with law enforcement and with schools and with community organizations to help people identify anyone who is being recruited, to try to intervene early, to have the best
intelligence. an intelligence surge that will better prepare us to protect ourselves. that's the hard work that is required. that's the work that the people i was meeting with today from republican and democratic administrations know we have to do. and it's not the loose talk and the bombastic commentary that's going to defeat this enemy. it's the millions of decisions by strong, patriotic americans and our allies around the world. >> so you have isis, north korea, and russia. they will all be on the desk in front of the next president of the united states as emergent situations, urgent situations. let's talk quickly about each one. isis. you have said focus on bagdadi. >> mm-hmm. >> you've also said recently, we will not put troops on the ground in iraq or in syria to take and hold land. tell us why. because there is a counter-theory that you took out
bin laden, it didn't change al qaeda. you're not dealing with a head of a snake you're dealing with a worm that grows in different directions and syria, as you know, secretary, is the heart of the problem. why not flip it and not worry about the leader of the organization as much as the home of the problem and get on ground and make it safe for the people there? >> we have to do both. let me just quickly respond. i do not think putting american ground troops in syria too hold territory, to become occupiers, to try to govern people, is at all the right strategy. i support special forces. i support enablers. i support trainers. i want to intensify our air campaign. i don't think it is regularized enough. i want to do everything we can on intelligence, surveillance,
rec rec reconnaissance. supporting our arab and kurdish allie allies. we have to support a more effective governing structure inside iraq. so i feel very committed to depriving isis of their so-called caliphate. that's a huge symbolic recruitment message that we should pull from them. i also believe that bagdadi is a central figure in the promulgation of this ideology. and it really helped our efforts to organize against bin laden. now, it's true that al qaeda is not dead, but they are nothing like they were. it's also true that we collected
an enormous amount of intelligence in the raid on bin laden's home. so we've had some big advantages by using as an organizing principle going after the leader that i think would also work to our benefit with bagdadi. >> north korea. >> yes. >> there is now word that not only was this a test but it could be a sign that they could have a warhead, a small one, in a shorter time frame, than had been recently expected. we remember with syria the line in the sand that the president drew. when you look at north korea, if you were president of the united states, what would be your line in the sand that, if this supposed madman in north korea gets a weapon that, if he crosses this line, it's no longer just about sanctions. >> oh, i absolutely believe that it has to be made very clear. we will not allow north korea to have a deliverable nuclear
weapon, and we will approach this from a number of perspectives. i have had conversations in the past with the chinese about north korea. up until relatively recently, i think they were under the impression that they could control their neighbor. and they didn't want to crack down because they saw it as a useful card to play. he gets a little crazy, maybe the south koreans will, you know, move toward them a little bit, he gets a little crazier, maybe they can make some deals with the japanese about some things they want. it was a strategic calculation. it's not that way anymore. the current leader is unpredictable, for both the chinese and the rest of us. the current leader is clearly intent upon ignoring pressure, advice of any sort coming from anywhere else.
and so we've got to make it clear, missile defense is going in, as quickly and broadly as possible. our message to the north koreans and everyone else listening, they will not be permitted to acquire a nuclear weapon that has a deliverable capacity on a ballistic missile. and we've got to start intensifying our discussions with the chinese because they can't possibly want this big problem on their doorstep. >> when they say to you what does that mean they won't be allowed to have one? >> we won't go into all the details. obviously that's not something i have the right to do or the responsibility at this moment to do. but that will be the policy of my administration. because i don't think we're going to make progress -- i mean, adding additional sanctions and doing it the way that we did, that i led with iran, did have a big impact because they worked. the chinese have been awfully leaky. the regime lives off of luxury
goods and the kind of benefits that they then can use to, you know, reward their loyal followers. we've never been able to fully cut that off. and so we will do more on sanctions because that's part of an overall strategy. but that's not enough. >> lastly, russia. in the news recently you know since the attempt at a reset, russia has never been more rogue and openly oppositional than they are right now. your opponent has taken the approach of trying to cotton to putin. he says he is a strong leader, stronger than the president of the united states. the reason he says he does this is because where has being confrontational gotten us with russia. what do you make of his strategy about sweet talking putin as a way of opening a channel of communication? >> well, i think his ignorance
about russia and putin are dangerous. in an interview he didn't even know that putin had invaded and occupied crimea. so this is just more of his loose talk, his kind of reckless pontificating that really doesn't have any substance to it. i think that, if there are ways to do business with russia, we should always be open to it. that's what the reset accomplished. when putin came back, he came back, i think, with the view that his highest goal had to be to prevent what he considers to be the -- his neighborhood in eastern-central europe all the way to central asia from falling under european union and american influence. he has tried to disrupt and interfere with democratic elections, as he has, even in our country, attempted to do with this round of elections.
so he is pretty transparent that he is looking for ways of elevating russia and himself. what i most worry about with trump is that he is conveying several impressions to people around the world that are quite damaging with respect to russia and putin, he has praised putin and praised saddam hussein as well. sending the message that maybe the united states no longer stands for human rights and dignity. stands against aggressive behaviors. that's a terrible message because that just further encourages leaders who are like putin, wanting to, you know, do their own version of oppressing their people and reaching out beyond their borders. secondly, his very dangerous talk about muslims, both american-muslims and international muslims, makes our
job against isis, makes our job against terrorism much harder. and we already know he has done damage. we already know from experienced intelligence and counter-terrorism experts that leaders within isis are rooting for his victory. now, you combine a free pass for putin on aggressive behavior and a welcome by isis that his language plays right into their hands and will give them more credibility in saying that this is some kind of civilizational war. we're going to have to undo the damage that he's already done in the campaign after this election and make it very clear, the united states stands by our word, we stand by our friends and allies. we are willing to work with anybody, including, of course, putin. i have had many conversations with putin. but we're not going to do it by just rolling over and adopting his wish list, which is exactly what donald trump has done.
>> secretary clinton, 9/11 is a day that america has a heavy heart. i appreciate you spending the time with us and reminding people why we have to never forget. >> you're absolutely right. and chris, i will be down there, again, at the memorial to pay my respects and to, you know, talk with some of the people that i met in those terrible days right after the attack. >> for them it will never be over. >> it can't be. and it shouldn't be for us either. >> chris cuomo's interview with former secretary of state hillary clinton. cnn offered donald trump to speak about issues and he declined. the ceremony is under way at the pentagon. president obama is there and expected to speak shortly. let's listen in. husbands, wives, children, brothers, sisters, friends, to remember the warmth of their smiles, the touch of their hands, their last words, the
gifts of their lives. now help us never forget that it has been your grace which has allowed us the time we were able to share, which has enabled us to hold on to the fondest of memories and provides us moments like this to cherish forever. god, we pause this day to remember, to remember those who first responded, the unsung heroes, civilian and military, emergency services, law enforcement who fought valiantly that day to preserve the countless lives trapped within these walls and those who, over the last 15 years, across the globe, sacrificed their lives defending the freedom our enemies sought and still seek to destroy. help us, then, never to forget the examples of courage and fortitude these men and women demonstrated in the face of danger and hardship. nor to forget the ideals which have defined our nation which they died to defend and which
are now the responsibility of every american citizen to uphold. and now, as we remember, we ask you not to forget us. allow your will to transform our memorial into a lasting commitment to those whom we have lost, to the nation that you have preserved and to a future defined by the values we hold dear. it is in the strength of your name we pray, amen. ladies and gentlemen, 15 years ago at 9:37 a.m. the pentagon was attacked. please join us in observing a moment of silence to remember those who perished.
>> ladies and gentlemen, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, general joe dunford. >> welcome ba'll come back to t pentagon shortly when the president takes the microphone. that was a moment of silence commemorating the moment when the pentagon was struck in washington. i am back with my panel. and andy card, former chief of staff for president george w. bush. when you heard about the pentagon being hit, that meant this was a multi-city attack and was maybe not even done. you were on air force one with president bush at the time?
>> it continued the fog of war. i remember we were in the limousine driving from the school in sarasota to air force one, and the president and i were sitting in the back of the limousine. he is frustrated because he is trying to reach secretary rumsfeld. and i am on my cellphone calling back to d.c. and he said, i can't get through to the pentagon. it turns out that's when the pentagon had been hit. we didn't even know it had been hit. and so he was just frustrated that he couldn't get secretary rumsfeld. and then we get on plane, we find out about the pentagon being hit, and it told us that this was not just an attack on new york city, this was going to war, this was a real war, and that the fog of war was real. we weren't getting good information as quickly as we wanted to get it. and the president -- i was very impressed -- immediately started thinking about the greater burdens. it wasn't tunnel vision.
he it terrific peripheral vision about what was happening. he said, i want to track down president putin and call him and make sure he knows we're not going to war and that we don't want them to use an excuse to go to war with us. >> because president bush was going to raise the military threat level as to what was going on. >> it was being raised literally as we were speaking. and yes. but he was just saying, this -- there is a big consequence here if people miscalculate. >> faraj, you were talking about how president bush, to his credit, was thinking about other ramifications after the attack. >> this is about a violent ideology that continues to manifest. it's not just about one attack here in america. as we have seen, whether it's attacks in london or madrid, belgium, paris or boston, it's a global threat. in the years after 9/11 you began to see a change about how we thought about the idealogical
where and the impact. it's important to understand that aq was -- we could imagine it then as something we thought we understood but we didn't have the imagination to see the events that would take place afterwards. you now have groups like isis and other groups that are -- that rallied to the call of an us and them. all of these things were put in place in the years after, but what was happening during the bush administration was, how do we think about the recruitment process. how do we look at the idealogical war. we were not afraid to look at it then and we shouldn't be afraid to look at it now. the impact of how this ideology has manifested. i remember talking to someone in tanzania. this is a man who had been through the attacks in 1998 -- >> the embassy attacks. >> yes. in tanzania. he said to me, doesn't your country understand that this ideology is not just about what
happened in '98 or 2001, that we are seeing this all over the world. are you preparing for that. and that really struck me. and i think we have to -- this is such a sobering day. this is a day of remembrance. and we have to really think about where we want to be 15 years from now and what we're doing to make sure that that ideology does not recruit more children from around the world. >> and mary matalin. when president bush went to the mosque on massachusetts avenue here and said islam is peace, it was mocked by a lot of conservatives in retrospect as being politically correct and squishy. but it was about exactly what farah was talking about. strategy and not wanting more attacks. >> right. but there was intention in saying islam is a religion of peace. the vice president would -- we all centered speeches around, andy's office would put it in
and he would take it out every time because whether or not that is generally true, islamic extremists that we're talking about, this is not a mission of peace. and there was a lot of crash courses, the vice president knew who it was, only a couple of days before that there had been a murder in a cave in afghanistan. so there was a familiarity there. but for the rest of us, we brought in bernard lewis, military strategists. i dare say an infinitesimal percent of americans knew what a caliphate was at the time. >> absolutely. >> it was a very big learning experience. it wasn't that we had an immediate idealogical problem with conservatives or how we think of politics today. it was how do we go after this threat. and we weren't as concerned, we didn't need to be concerned because there wasn't a politicization of identity politics at the time. >> but there was a battlefield
where that we were standing up. there was an idealogical war that we were preparing for. the separation of both of them is something we need to think about as we think through what we do next. i don't think we've stood up the idealogical component as fiercely as we should have and could have. when i think about what mary just said about trying to make sure that we were -- the greatest strength of our country is the diversity. the greatest strength vis-a-vis muslims is that we are the most diverse group of muslims anywhere in the world. we were standing by the values of our constitution, bringing the country together. we need to do that again. >> the challenging thing, also, to cover, john, on 9/11 because it was one side wanted this to be a clash of civilizations. al qaeda and islamist terrorist group wanted this to be a clash of civilizations while president bush the white house and
administration didn't want to give them the benefit of that being the narrative. >> we have the conversation about the domino effects. a lot of things changed on 9/11. so much else changed. midway through the day when we first started to reestablish communications with sources. remember, everybody was in crisis mode when the planes were hitting and then everybody was moving around .s th. there was not a lot of great communications. finally, middle of the way, finally got through to an intelligence source who said this is unmistakable. it's bin laden, al qaeda. you started to have those conversations. remember, as we talk about the after moments, a bit later we learned -- mary was with the vice president. we were asking questions about who is in charge, who is calling the shots minute by minute. it's a remarkable thing. who is in charge of the united states government in the middle of the terrorist attack. and we learned the vice
president authorized the shoot-down orders. norm ma netta was the transportation secretary, grounding all the planes. i am not taking issue with who issued the orders. the things that were happening on that day when the transportation secretary says get everything out of the sky, the administration, the president and the vice president authorized shooting down airplanes. it was just a day that was, again, as secretary johnson said -- >> one of the civilian planes was george herbert walker bush was in it. that's why i started with the point i did. the seamlessness in the fog of war with which the men who had previously worked together and had defense experience, it was -- i am -- i am not being a partisan when i say i cannot think of another team that knew what to do automatically. the vice president knew automatically which were the president's calls to make and which he had to make immediately. this is not common. may he rest in peace al haig
when president reagan said i am in charge. there was none of that. >> here comes president obama. let's listen in to him. love you back. good morning. >> good morning! >> scripture tells us, let not stead fast love and faithfulness forsake you. write them on the tablet of your heart. secretary carter, chairman dunford, outstanding members of our armed forces and most of all survivors of that september day and the families of those we lost, it is a great honor once again to be with you on this day. a day that i know is still difficult but which reveals the
love and faithfulness in your hearts and in the heart of our nation. we remember and we will never forget the nearly 3,000 beautiful lives taken from us so cruelly. including 184 men, women and children here, the youngest just 3 years old. we honor the courage of those who put themselves in harm's way to save people they never knew. we come together in prayer and in gratitude for the strength that has fortified us across these 15 years. and we renew the love and the faith that binds us together as one american family. 15 years may seem like a long time, but for the families who lost a piece of their heart that day i imagine it can seem like
just yesterday. perhaps it's the memory of a last kiss given to a spouse or the last good-bye to a mother or father, a sister or a brother. we wonder how their lives might have unfolded, how their dreams might have taken shape. and i am mindful that no words we offer or deeds we do can ever truly erase the pain of their absence. and yet you, the survivors and families of 9/11, your steadfast love and faithfulness has been an inspiration to me and to our entire country. even as you have mourned, you have summoned the strength to carry on. in the names of those you have lost, you have started scholarships and volunteered in your communities and done your best to be a good neighbor and a
good friend and a good citizen. and in your grief and grace you have reminded us that together there is nothing we americans cannot overcome. the question before us, as always, is how do we preserve the legacy of those we lost. how do we live up to their example and how do we keep their spirit alive in our own hearts. well, we have seen the answer in a generation of americans, our men and women in uniform, diplomats, intelligence, homeland security and law enforcement professionals, all who have stepped forward to serve and who have risked and given their lives to keep us safe. thanks to their extraordinary service, we have dealt devastating blows to al qaeda,
we've delivered justice to osama bin laden, we have strengthened our homeland security and we have prevented attacks and we have saved lives. we resolve to continue doing everything in our power to protect this country that we love. and today we once again pay tribute to these patriots, both military and civilian, who serve in our name, including those far away from home in afghanistan and iraq. perhaps most of all we stay true to the spirit of this day by defending not only our country but also our ideals. 15 years into this fight the threat has evolved. with our stronger defenses, terrorists often attempt attacks on a smaller but still deadly scale. hateful ideologies urge people in their own country to commit
unspeakable violence. we have mourned the loss of innocents from boston to san bernardino to ireland. orlando. groups like al qaeda, like isil know that they will never be able to defeat a nation as great and as strong as america, so instead they try to terrorize, in the hopes that they can stoke enough fear that we turn on each other and that we change who we are or how we live. and that's why it is so important today that we reaffirm our character as a nation, a people drawn from every corner of the world, every color, every religion, every background. bound by a creed as old as our founding.
e plurbus unim. out of many we are one. for we know that our diversity. our patchwork heritage, is not a weakness. it is still and always will be one of our greatest strengths. this is the america that was attacked that september morning. this is the america that we must remain true to. across our country today, americans are coming together in service and remembrance. we run our fingers over the names and memorial benches here at the pentagon. we walk the hallowed grounds of a pennsylvania field. we look up at a gleaming tower that pierces the new york city skyline. but in the end the most enduring memorial to those we lost is
ensuring the america that we continue to be. that we stay true to ourselves. that we stay true to what's best in us. that we do not let others divide us. as i mark this solemn day with you for the last time as president, i think of americans whose stories i have been humbled to know these past eight years. americans who i believe embody the true spirit of 9/11. it's the courage of wells krouther, just 24 years old, in the south tower, the man in the red bandana who spent his final moments helping strangers to safety before the towers fell. it's the resilience of the firehouse on 8th avenue, patriots who lost more than a dozen men but who still suit up
every day as the pride of midtown. it's the love of a daughter i will always be watching over you. it's the resolve of those navy s.e.a.l.s who made sure justice was finally done, who served, as we must live as a nation getting each other's backs, looking out for each other united, one mission, one team. it's the ultimate sacrifice of men and women who rest for eternity not far from here in general green hills in perfect formation. americans who gave their lives in far away places so we could be here today, strong and free and proud. it's all of us. every american who gets up each day, lives our lives, carries
on. because, as americans, we do not give in to fear. we will preserve our freedoms and the way of life that makes us a beacon to the world. let us not, let not, steadfast love and faithfulness for sake you. write them on the tablet of your heart and how we conduct ourselves as individuals and as a nation. we have the opportunity each and every day to live up to the sacrifice of those heroes we lost. may god bless the memory of the loved ones here, across the country, they remain in our hearts today. may he watch over these faithful
families and all who protect us and may god forever bless the united states of america. [ applause ] >> president obama at the pentagon. there was a moment of silence in there commemorating the moment that the third plane, american airlines flight 77 traveling from dulles to the pentagon killing 184 men, women and children. we were just talking about the illusion president obama made with the man with the red bandana. a story about a man named wells krauther who saved the lives of a number of his colleagues with a red bandana he used to shelter their faces from the smoke. he was later found dead and his family pieced together who it was. >> his daddy gave him a
handkerchief when he was little, one for his pocket, a white one and one for his back pocket, the red bandana. one for show and one for blowing. i'm going to change your world with this bandana. he was covering his own face going up and down the stairs carrying people in shock and so injured. peggy noonan wrote a column that puts in mind what we have been talking about, the poignancy of 15 years. our kids were little. my kids were next to the pentagon. one is starting college, one is graduating college. 15 years is an entire generation. the millenials now outnumber the baby boomers. they have grown up not being jaded about this, but they have an entirely different perspective about it. there is a poignancy about these
lives living through this different kind of new normalcy. that mom who said when peggy said how did you make this hero, said honesty and integrity. he wanted to do his part. she felt the force of him behind him after they knew he parrished. i'm okay. i did the right thing. >> a remarkable story. peggy wrote it for the wall street journal. it is amazing. the chief of staff to president bush, there are people now fighting and dying for this country who have no memories of 9/11. my children have never heard of 9/11, they are too little to know about it yet, yet, they are growing up in a nation and a world erratically shaped by it. >> the world did change. of course people who weren't born on 9/11 don't know the world changed, but the world did change. it's important for those of us who recognize what had happened
and the need for change and that it's a continuing challenge. this is not just yesterday. it's also today and it will unfortunately be tomorrow. but, for me, there was a moment that became very convicting. it was as the president finished a long day in new york city, where he stood beside a firefighter and told the world they would hear us. he met with the families of policemen and firemen that were missing down at ground zero. when he walked into the room and came in in an unexpected way, he came into the room. there was tremendous hope. my husband will make it, my son will be okay, my daughter knows what to do. there was tremendous fear. there was anger, tears, prayers. as he was getting ready to leave that group, i remember he walks by a woman who was one of the first greeted when he walked into the room. she stood up.
she was not very tall. she looked up to the president and held out a hand and said i want you to have this. this is my son. his name is george howard. don't ever forgot him. she dropped the badge in the president's hand and everybody has tears streaming down their cheeks. i'll never forget what the president said. he said mrs. howard, america will forget. they will start to have won. you don't have to worry about me. i will never forget george howard. that's why we are here today. because we all promised we would never forget. that badge, badge number 1012, president bush carried with him the entire rest of his presidency. even today, he doesn't forget george howard. >> president and mrs. bush will attend church services in dallas
and in a private prayer and remembrance and head to the dallas home opener against the new york giants and do memorializing there as well. john, it was interesting to try to watch the country go back to normal after 9/11. i remember the world series being a pitch. as i recall, it was the yankee's versus the diamondbacks. >> the arizona diamondbacks. getting back to normal while not forgetting a big challenge. >> the term new normal the vice president used in his speech. it became the new normal and the point about your kids, they live in a world and we cover a world and we do business in a world that has forever changed. sometimes you see it. every day i see something that reminds me of 9/11. something very different or the same or you remember a moment. airport security. our access to public officials.
walk through the west wing of the white house. you used to go in and walk past the oval office. some things were overdone. to the point of younger people, their diversity and tolerance, it's instinctive to them. older people, distrust of muslims or each other. remember the first few weeks and months, the country was as united, i can remember in my years covering politics. barack obama, who spoke at that ceremony would not be president to the united states were it not for the iraq war. the iraq war would not have happened had it not been for 9/11. it's just -- it changes. think of how it changed the bush presidency. i will be the president of this hemisphere. i will do immigration reform. he called himself a wartime president. it changed. the republican party today is in
a very different place, still in turmoil because of the issues that started that day. >> let's go to ground zero where they are about to pause for the south tower. it took a mere ten seconds for the 110 story building to fall to the grounld. we will observe the moment of silence. the hurt is still there. the hole is still there. you live on through your family. we miss you every day. and everyone tell someone you love them today. >> on behalf of our entire family, my brother, thomas